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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

First-Ever Nationwide Pro-Marijuana TV Ad Campaign Is Launched in Conjunction with ‘4/20′

By: Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director

Boulder, Colorado: I have every reason to believe that ‘4/20′ in 2009 will be the biggest and most momentous one to date as NORML launches 7,770 nationwide TV ads that advocate for cannabis law reform; NORML expects record numbers of supporters to join the organization for the celebratory one-day price of $4.20 because, I believe, there is a palpable zeitgeist in America right now favoring reform; the Obama administration appears amenable to some cannabis law reforms in ways that no prior president since Jimmy Carter has embraced; and lastly, with NORML’s nearly 600,000 ‘friends’ on Facebook and nearly 67,000 MySpace, more Americans than ever before who are keen on cannabis can create a viral effect that benefits reform.

Here in Boulder between 10,000-15,000 students and activists are expected to celebrate in what has become the biggest 4/20 event in the world.

Heck, the New York Times has already posted a profile of 4/20 for today’s paper, where they came yesterday for interview and photos to the University of Colorado at Boulder’s National Marijuana Forum. This portends well to what will be an insane day in the media for pro-reform groups like NORML (I’ve already got 35 interviews scheduled…) as I was also asked to pen an essay for National Public Radio’s All Things Considered that I assume will be published today. (UPDATE! Read and comment on Allen’s essay here.)

I dare say we as a country are finally ‘getting it’ regarding the clear and obvious need to reform our misguided cannabis laws.

Thanks to the hundreds of NORML supporters who donated what they could to buy ad time to launch a timely 4/20 ad campaign, you’re the green that keeps NORML all grassroots, all of the time!

Have an enjoyable and safe 4/20 from the staff of NORML!

Legalization: Yes We Can - Jason Druss

[UPDATE: Yes, the part at the end where the young lady giggles has been edited out for the airing on TV. I will work to find a copy to place on our site. -- Russ Belville, National Outreach Coordinator]

Marijuana Advocacy Group Launches TV Campaign on ‘4/20’

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws Foundation (NORML Foundation) a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy organization, established in 1997, is purchasing advertising time on selective cable outlets to underscore the urgency of decriminalizing cannabis.

The NORML Foundation launched this pro-marijuana ad campaign to create further political pressure on the federal government to recognize 1) the ever-increasing support of Americans who favor cannabis legalization, 2) the clear sea change of cannabis laws that’s been happening at the state level since Californians voted in favor of medicinal access to cannabis in 1996, and 3) to rally cannabis consumers and anti-prohibitionists on April 20, a date on the calendar that has organically become a national day to both publicly celebrate cannabis as well as protest 70 years of prohibition.

The featured ad is the winner of NORML’s recent user-generated-content contest that asks NORML supporters: ‘What would you say to President Obama about legalizing marijuana?’

New Jersey college student and up and coming filmmaker Jason Druss created the winning submission and is the recipient of the contest’s $3,500 cash grand prize after 6500 votes were cast on NORML’s webpage. “It’s time for President Obama to endorse cannabis law reform where it is legally controlled and taxed like alcohol and tobacco products,” stated Jason Druss. “It’s shocking that students can lose out from federal student loans for possessing a few joints, when pot’s been part of the college culture for decades.’

Marijuana, By the Numbers…
Thirteen states (with a population base of 115 million Americans) have decriminalized cannabis possession; thirteen states (with a population base of 75 million Americans) now have medical cannabis laws. Additionally, more states than ever before are debating cannabis law reform, including California and Massachusetts where legalization legislation have been introduced.

Since 1965, over 20 million Americans have been arrested on cannabis-related charges—90% for possession-only; over 900,000 cannabis arrests are expected again this year.

According to numerous survey and polls, approximately 75% of Americans support medical access to cannabis; 73% favor decriminalizing cannabis possession for adults and 42% of Americans support legalizing cannabis.

7,700 NORML Foundation ads are appearing on cable outlets nationwide (with a strong media buy in Ohio) on CNN, CNBC, Fox News Channel, Fuse, FX Networks, G4, MSNBC, CNN’s Headline News and Spike TV.